Ok, since I’m reasonably certain that my extended family is never going to read this… and if they did, it’s not like they’d shoot me (explanation below), I’m getting a few things off my chest.
Most of us have that one crazy family member who is:
- Bat-sh*t crazy
- The most uninformed person we know
- Very confrontational… I mean, outgoing
- Intelligent, enough so that they’re smarter than you and can therefore tell you how to live your life
If you live in Delaware, there’s a good chance that your crazy relative is this guy:
I’ve known for a while now that a large chunk of my wife’s family falls into that bucket. But thankfully for me, they all live in the People’s Democratic Republic of Massachusetts and I don’t have to deal with them regularly. But we flew back east for a family wedding recently… and… well, you know where this is going.
In fairness, it’s not entirely their fault. They live in a place where the nightly news goes a lot like this:
“The Sox Double-A affiliate today released third-string DH Robert Albertson, but… OMG!! BREAKING NEWS!! A GUY NEAR BOSTON TODAY HAD A GUN!! Tamara Newslessson is on the scene. Tamara?”
“That’s right Reginald. Terrorism hit Framingham today. A disturbed Rush Limbaugh listener attempted to kill his family today on his estate just after noon with an illegal assaulty gun. Thankfully, once he sprayed all the water out of it at the pool today, authorities let him off with only 4 felony charges and he now has to register as a sex offender. South-central-western-third-number-4 Framingham SWAT responded and set his house on fire. The other 11 south-central Framingham SWAT teams were on other calls at the time. They ran over the psychopath’s dog on the way in, but PETA has agreed not to sue. Apparently he purchased the assaulty gun from the toy aisle at Target and Target has now agreed to endorse the Affordable Care Act, saving thousands of underprivileged youths from a life of crime. The Governor is on the scene, along with Al Sharpton, but thankfully they are protected by an army of Secret Service agents and three private security firms. A neighbor told me Steve Wilkes Booth Anderson always had it coming and that he founded the I Heart Tea Party And Hate Black People group here in Framingham. Actually, I haven’t yet confirmed his middle names, but that’s what his neighbor kept calling him. His kids have been awarded to Octomom where they’ll finally be taken care of. Reginald, back to you in the studio.”
Typically, my strategy for dealing with insane people is avoidance. I figure that life is too short to spend it worrying about people who hate you. Interestingly, at the moment I’m not only dwelling on it, I’m writing about it… in part because it can be REALLY funny. But sometimes avoidance doesn’t always work.
Plan B for me is usually the thank-them-for-their-opinion-and-then-fake-an-injury. You could rattle off all the detailed studies about how gun control doesn’t work (and I highly recommend reading “Control: Exposing the Truth About Guns” by Glenn Beck – there’s a zillion footnotes so you can look up the info yourself), how “shall not be infringed” appears only once in the entire Constitution, how the cops have no legal obligation to save your life, how background checks won’t work, how there’s no such thing as a “gun show loophole,” yada yada yada… but they’ll come back with “you’re a dangerous hate-monger” or “just get a rape whistle” and the debate is over. So there really isn’t much point. Their strategy only gets to “live and let live” when they’ve lost the argument.
In a recent conversation with a co-worker, I heard something to the effect of “my ex-cop neighbor moved to a place so dangerous that he carries a gun on his hip EVERY DAY for fear of being attacked. Can you IMAGINE!!??” and it took all I had not to say “well I’m carrying a Springfield XDM 3.8 Compact right now. In fact, I’ve been carrying a gun on every single teleconference you and I have been on for the last 4 years.” Believe it or not, there are actually people that I don’t like talking about guns with. That list is shrinking, but I digress.
So my wife and I are at a wedding recently, we’re at the reception and we’re both wandering around talking to people we need to catch up with, etc. What I missed was one of her crazy family members going around telling people “we’re leaving, but not before I can talk to Jenna” (Jenna and this person don’t really see eye-to-eye on the 2nd Amendment… or the 1st, or the 4th, or the 10th…). He starts in with something about how dangerous and crazy she is, but that she can “friend” him on Facebook again if she wants. Her reply was classic: “only if you’ll accept the decisions I’ve made in my life,” which of course he had no come-back to and stormed off. But the story gets better.
I came around the corner when this hater’s daughter was now up to bat and was right in Jenna’s face (not a good plan) and I heard her say “well just don’t shoot my Dad!” She’s in her 20s. Jenna replied with “well I carry a gun every day of my life and I haven’t shot anyone yet,” which got the “YOU DO?!?!” response. It was awesome.
So to summarize, we had some family members go out of their way to find us and tell us (well, Jenna) that we’re horrible people for trying to protect our own lives and the life of our son. And that since we own guns, there’s a good chance that we’re going to murder someone for disagreeing with us. Michael Bloomberg absolutely feels this way, it’s just strange when you end up talking with someone who wishes they could be as elitist and un-American as Mayor McFascist.
And in case you forgot, the gun debate was officially settled in 1791.
Wanting an adult discussion about why we feel the way we do would be great. Getting in my wife’s face and lecturing her on how dangerous she is actually is inciting violence. It’s interesting that some people will start a confrontation to tell you that you’re dangerous. Maybe I’m the only one who sees the irony there. Speaking of which, did you know that Carry On Colorado and Marc MacYoung are offering classes on understanding and avoiding crime and violence?
So in addition to pointing out anti-gun stupidity, the point of this really is to solicit feedback on how to handle people who want to lecture you on how horrible you are because you own a gun (and make no mistake, it’s not a debate or even a discussion – those I’m good with). Ideas?
And to quote our Sheriff, “If you don’t have your concealed carry permit, why not?”
Carry on, Colorado!